D&D 5E Boons in 5e?

One of the things that 4e introduced that I really liked were Boons, Grandmaster Training and other alternate rewards. Some places in 3e almost got to there, but having a special blessing and deed give magical abilities outside the normal assortment of PC abilities, was something I felt was good.

I know they are basically just magic items except they aren't things you just haul around. But I never liked the fact that PCs hauled around a lot of stuff that also gave them abilities outside the normal bunch of PC abilities. Some magic items here and there are good, but when a PC is walking around with 16 magic rings, 4 pairs of magic bracelets, about 7 magic necklaces and a massively ridiculous hat, I also have problem with that.

But the question is should the new edition have cases where preforming something special like braving the dreaded salamander fire caves gives one fire resistance, be just as valid as having a ring of fire resistance? Should the 2 such things both exist side by side as options for treasure/rewards, right at the beginning of the edition?
 

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mkill

Adventurer
Very nice.

I'd decouple it from magic items, though. It would be cool to have a special, designated boon slot for this. The boon slot is like a feat slot, but not chosen by the player at a certain level. Instead, it's something the PC can earn any time during his career, but the time and the effect are set by the DM. The DMG should have some general guidelines (equal to a feat or resist element X or an extra power of level Y), but the DM is expected to personalize it.

To prevent boon overload, you can gain as many boons as you like, but you can only ever have one active at a time. (Switch during extended rest)
 

Charleois

First Post
Boons and grandmaster training were an excellent way to avoid the Christmas tree effect and still get lots of great benefits and bonuses.
 

Number48

First Post
I don't know the 4E implementation here, it was after I had stopped playing it. But I can tell you something that happened, in real life, in a game in either 1E or 2E. For a while, there were quite a few character deaths and suddenly we realized that this made the party more powerful. How, you ask? The magic items were taken off dead characters and new characters came in with new magic items, hence inflating the party magic and making death a way to get ahead. Later, the DM made it so new characters didn't start with magic items, but that just led to a lopsided party with 2 characters having all the best stuff and only stuff they couldn't possibly use being "loaned" to the new character.

So, while I don't play 4E, I have made it a habit to give characters intrinsic abilities for about 20 years. They don't know that I'm doing it to reduce the death-as-winning concept, they just think their character can do something nobody else can. Some of these are very, very minor but when it is intrinsic they value is much more. The Dwarf Cleric in one game was thrilled to get the ability to breathe underwater for X amount of time a day, as he couldn't possibly swim and this let him feel better about going on a boat. He didn't even use it! It was just in case.
 

FireLance

Legend
I liked the idea of boons. I didn't like the idea that they "faded" after five levels. However, if magic items become less tied to the base math in 5e, I guess this will not be an issue.
 

Very nice.

I'd decouple it from magic items, though. It would be cool to have a special, designated boon slot for this. The boon slot is like a feat slot, but not chosen by the player at a certain level. Instead, it's something the PC can earn any time during his career, but the time and the effect are set by the DM. The DMG should have some general guidelines (equal to a feat or resist element X or an extra power of level Y), but the DM is expected to personalize it.

To prevent boon overload, you can gain as many boons as you like, but you can only ever have one active at a time. (Switch during extended rest)
I wouldn't make "boons" a "slotted" thing. There is no reason that you can't train with two different grand masters, or get a boon from Pelor and train with some Grandmaster.

What I would see as something as a reasonable limitation is that you can not benefit from any number of boons at the same time. You may have to select "active" boons, which can happen in a variety of ways.


  • Some Boons may just be like a power or spell. You have n spells or powers you can use per [mechanicalyl defined] time frame, and you have to decide which ones to use - the boon is one option from many.
  • Some boons may be like (3E/4E) style feats, e.g. a passive, always on benefit, but you can pick only a limited number of feats. Maybe there is also a way to switch them out between [another mechanically defined] time frame.
Firelance said:
I liked the idea of boons. I didn't like the idea that they "faded" after five levels. However, if magic items become less tied to the base math in 5e, I guess this will not be an issue.
I already ignore that rule in my campaign, or rather have those boons "fade" and give the players the next level/tier of the boon.
 

The 5-level rule was really something I didn't like either and would ignore it.

And I just like those alternate rewards better, since they're more fun potentially in the stories how you'd get them.
 

MatthewJHanson

Registered Ninja
Publisher
I like boons, and from what I've heard from WotC, so do they. I suspect that we'll see them in the DMG, and if not there, another book soon afterwards.
 

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